The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi broke news Wednesday afternoon that the Democratic National Committee would be banning the Fox News Channel from hosting a 2020 presidential primary debate in light of the rabidly anti-Fox hit job by The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer. Of course, the DNC has a fan of the move in CNN’s Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter because Democrats are “dehumanized” and “attacked relentlessly” on FNC’s primetime shows.
It should be pointed out to Stelter and his fellow FNC-obsessed liberal journalists that the DNC had the same attitude about the cable network in the 2008 presidential cycle as FNC did not host a primary debate then either. For more on that, here’s a piece written at the time by the MRC’s Rich Noyes. CNN hosted a Democratic debate in 2004 (with liberal questioners) and none of the Democratic candidates found it unfair.
Back to the present, Stelter took to the airwaves of CNN Right Now to trumpet the move with host Brianna Keilar. Keilar touted Mayer’s “damning exposé” which “that basically said Fox News, while it has had an agenda in the past, has been operating essentially as state media for President Trump.”
Stelter also gushed over Mayer’s piece as having “put threads together and much of it reported before, but she tied it into a bow and got the attention of a lot of Democrats, a lot of progressives and why would they think about giving a debate to Fox News.”
After reading statements from DNC chairman Tom Perez and Fox News executive Bill Sammon, Stelter chose not to offer a real defense for any of the straight-news anchors like Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, Martha MacCallum, Chris Wallace, or even Shepherd Smith (besides throwing a bone to Baier).
Instead, he lashed out at how, even though everyone knows where the primetime hosts (presumably from 8-11 p.m. Eastern) stand, the DNC’s decision was because, in his mind, “Democrats are dehumanized” and “attacked relentlessly” on the network:
[B]ut every night in prime time, Democrats are dehumanized. They are attacked relentlessly by Fox News prime time hosts. It was always hard for me to imagine a Democratic primary debate taking place in those hours when figures like Nancy Pelosi and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez are constantly demonized and attacked. So, the Democratic National Committee now making that official in saying we’ll have nothing to do with Fox in the primary season.
Earth to Brian: Have you seen your own show and what you say about conservatives and Republicans who aren’t bleeding-heart anti-Trumpers or CNN supporters? Check out a few links here, here, here, here, and here since August to get you started.
Now, how about CNN primetime? Tune into Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, and/or Don Lemon and you’ll see slanted programming toward the left. For Cooper and Cuomo, their “Keeping Them Honest” and “Closing Argument” commentaries are no more than chances for them to screech into the camera about how much they hate Trump. Here’s a sampling of NewsBusters headlines about these four shows from this year alone:
- CNN's David Gergen: ‘Dandy’ Roger Stone Could Be Raped in Prison
- CNN’s Cooper Rages at Trump Campaign’s Fundraising Parody Poll
- Obsession: CNN, MSNBC Spend 428 Minutes on Cohen, 12 on NoKo Summit
- Cuomo Argues in Favor of Allowing the Banning of MAGA Hat Wearers from Businesses
- Outrageous! Chris Cuomo: Republicans Want Illegals to Kill Americans Because It's ‘Convenient’
- CNN's Lemon: Wall Designed to ‘Blatantly Stir Up Fear of People of Color, of Brown People’
Womp, womp, Brian! Exit question: What will Stelter do when, in either 2020 (if the President faces a primary challenge) or 2024 when the Republican National Committee kicks CNN to the curb? Will Brian and co-pilot Oliver Darcy throw fits about it being an attack on the free press?
To see the relevant transcript from March 6's CNN Right Now, click “expand.”
CNN Right Now
March 6, 2019
1:43 p.m. Eastern
BRIANNA KEILAR: This just in, Fox News is responding to a decision by the Democratic National Committee not to have the network host a Democratic presidential debate in the wake of a damning exposé in The New Yorker. I want to bring in CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter. This — this Brian, was an exposé that basically said Fox News, while it has had an agenda in the past, has been operating essentially as state media for President Trump.
BRIAN STELTER: Yeah as propaganda and Jane Mayer's story put threads together and much of it reported before, but she tied it into a bow and got the attention of a lot of Democrats, a lot of progressives and why would they think about giving a debate to Fox News because, Brianna, that had been on the table. The DNC has been talking to all of the networks about who will host these debates. We know NBC has the first one this summer, CNN has the second. Fox was apparently still in the running for the debate and so here is what the DNC says now as a result of the reporting in The New Yorker. DNC Chair Tom Perez put out a statement saying: “I believe that a key pathway to victory is to continue to expand our electorate and reach all voters. That is why I have made it a priority to talk to a broad array of potential media partners, including Fox News.” But: “Recent reporting in the New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and Fox News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates. Therefore, Fox News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates.” So, that's the statement from the DNC referring to the reporting in The New Yorker, Fox News has already come out, expressed regret about the decision, saying they hope the DNC will reconsider.
I’m going to call the likelihood of that at zero percent. But here’s the statement from Bill Sammon, who heads up the D.C. bureau. He says: “We hope the DNC will reconsider its decision to bar Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, all of whom embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism, from moderating a Democratic presidential debate..” So, that’s the statement from Fox. But Brianna, if we’re realistic about this, it is true has journalists like Bret Baier who do a good job, but every night in prime time, Democrats are dehumanized. They are attacked relentlessly by Fox News prime time hosts. It was always hard for me to imagine a Democratic primary debate taking place in those hours when figures like Nancy Pelosi and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez are constantly demonized and attacked. So, the Democratic National Committee now making that official in saying we’ll have nothing to do with Fox in the primary season.
KEILAR: Alright, it’s a very interesting development even if it seems like something that isn't too surprising at this point in time. Brian Stelter, thank you so much.